Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Entry #6

The List
by Donna Dickson


Shampoo, deodorant, kitty litter…

Stepping on to the escalator, my list ticks over in my mind as I meander maniacally through the mall.

Pick up hubby’s suit and your little black dress from drycleaners – check.

Purchase DVD’s and sweet treats to bribe children into silence – check.

Acquire food, wine and assorted other delicacies for tonight’s dinner party – check.

Exchange body and soul for life of servitude – check.

Glimpse, for last time, your lingering sense of self as it dissipates into the ether of wife, mother, taxi driver, hostess, lover, cook, cleaner, and all ‘round unpaid maid – check.

Evoke last time anyone remembered YOUR birthday, YOUR favourite meal, YOUR love of art galleries and antique shops – unable to recall – CHECK!!!!

Remember last time anyone stopped to look at you, SEE you, see inside you, your heart, your longing – doesn’t spring to mind – check.

More escalators, more stores, more errands. Never- bloody- ending series of chores, duties and responsibilities – CHECK!

Stop crying over the deep and abiding sense of loss, of grief – check.

Fight the pull, all day, every goddamn day, that wants to drag you out of your life, walk away, leave all of this behind, and return you to…well, to yourself, to the sweet taste of freedom – check.

Examine your ability to convince yourself that this is the life that you want, the life that you need, the life that fulfils you – check?

Step off escalator.

Get up tomorrow and the next day, and do it all over again.

Check.

45 comments:

Geraldine said...

Well done! I'm sure you've struck a chord with many readers. Interesting and unique.

Lena said...

thats really great piece of writing.. loved it.. and makes one think, which is the most important thing here.

BernardL said...

Powerfully done.

peggy said...

Very well written piece involving what every woman feels at some time or another. Good job!

wrath999 said...

Cool. Life is sometimes boring and repetitive. Sometimes at a certain moment we remind ourselves of it. Doesn't mean we dislike the life we lead. I enjoyed the read.

Aggie said...

Has a real ring of truth this one.

Sarah Hina said...

Wow, this one is just terrific. You took a simple idea, Donna, and gave us the insight to really SEE her, even if no one else does. How ironic that her despairs and grievances should be summed up in just another list.

Also loved how much you were able to get across with variations in punctuation and capitalization. I could hear her mind's voice so clearly. The resignation hit hard.

That escalator just keeps rolling around...

Excellent writing!! Really great work. :)

JaneyV said...

Well just about everything that sprung to mind as I read this has been said by Sarah. I think the monotony of this poor woman's life is reflected beautifully in the endless cycle of the escalator.

Very nice.

strugglingwriter said...

I liked this a lot. I breezed through it. "Step off escalator." I liked that line the best.

Paul

laughingwolf said...

you've captured a mood, donna, well done :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

The mundane, everyday blur of life, for some, was very well described here. I really like the format and style of this!

J.C. Montgomery said...

Constantly moving, constantly listing,always wondering, will it ever change.

Yes, this does resonate with many, including me. Well done!

Ruinwen said...

Using a list this way is so clever and unique. I could feel her pain, anguish and unfulfilled life in each line. Great piece. :)

Catvibe said...

Fabulous and really well written. This is me and so many millions of women. Very well done!

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

That was some introspection!

Lovely :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Nicee use of the escalator as metaphor

sawan said...

wonderful perception Donna.

lvd it!

Aerin said...

OH my gosh. LOVE this - the voice, the imagery - great writing!

one more believer said...

a thousand words flying.. checkmate

WATTERS EDGE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauri said...

How crushingly sad!
I want to grab her and shake her and tell her to run for her life!!!
Great story.

Vesper said...

Oh, the dreaded check-list of our lives... A chilling reminder of what we have to be most of the time. A good piece!

Patsy said...

Thanks, you've cheered me up! I get fed up sometimes, but my life isn't as depressing as your character's - nowhere near. I can easily believe that people do sometimes feel this way though. You've captured that 'is it all worth it' feeling very well.

Precie said...

Whoa.

Love this!!!

McKoala said...

Scarily convincing. Kinda been there myself.

Margaret said...

The feelings of this poor woman are so clearly lined out here.

Will someone please appreciate her soon.... Check...

pjd said...

Hard to feel too bad for a woman who has a dinner party every night.

bluesugarpoet said...

Masterfully conceived and executed. Ditto what Sarah said (and others)!

jana

September said...

Under appreciated but no way they could survive without her.
Nice job writing this. Check.

ceedy said...

The house does not run without the "pillars" of support...but one seldom asks these "pillars" if they need support....

well written....liked the way you enhanced her thoughts with the use of punctuations and capitals...

Aniket Thakkar said...

Donna... You should get an Oscar equivalent a title out here for this! Loved the whole list ... especially "Exchange body and soul for life of servitude"... Its been a while that I sold my soul to the devil! :-D

Thank the author for an exceptionally well written masterpiece! - Check

Watters' Reflection said...

I deleted my last post thanking people for the kind comments because I may a spelling error!! Oooops....sorry.

So, thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments. They are much appreciated.

Donna

Watters' Reflection said...

Last try...
This is a nightmare. I made another spelling error! And I've already had my two cups of coffee this morning.
So....thanks for the comments!

2nd try...
I deleted my last post thanking people for the kind comments because I made a spelling error!! Oooops....sorry.
Thanks for the comments!

1st try...
Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments. They are much appreciated.

(Hopefully all spelling errors have been corrected)

Donna

Aniket Thakkar said...

Donna, I guess all the writers have been jinxed today... Do read the comments between me and Margaret at her post: http://clarityofnight.blogspot.com/2009/01/entry-106.html !!Spooky!!! :-D

Jimmie Vee said...

Sounds like that will be some fun dinner party! I feel your frustration here, although to me your character probably should buy some more wine, since her glass seems to always be half empty.

Watters' Reflection said...

Aniket, that's absolutely hilarious. I was breaking out into a sweat every time I pressed the enter button, praying I hadn't made another spelling error. As soon as I pressed the button, I saw that I had made an error, and another one, and another one. I thought the nightmare would never end! I'm going to press enter now. Wish me luck!

Watters' Reflection said...

Aniket, it is spooky! And gets spookier! I replied to your comment and now I can't find it. So I'm trying again. I think I can't be trusted around a comment button today :) Best of luck with your entry!

Aniket Thakkar said...

@ Donna:
Things seem normal today... Not-so-many drastic spelling mistakes today! :) Yesterday, I had to wite on MS Word, do a spell check and then post the comments! It was THAT freeky! You, Margaret and I... facing same situation at same time on the same blog... What are the odds! I think it was sort of a prank... some bug installed on the blog by Jason.... :-D
(Todays Thought: Never take the blame on yourself... A revolutionary is someone who never gets caught... tee hee)

As for the "best of luck" part... oh u honestly dun believe that I am in any possible sense of the word "COMPETING" with you guys... (I guess I can officialy declare that you are in my top 5 now)... One need not compete.... one needs to 'Ascend'! :-D

Watters' Reflection said...

Aniket, what a sweetie you are. I did the same thing with Word, I just didn't trust myself.
It's been great fun entering this contest for the first time, the best part has been getting a feel for the supportive community that visits here. What talent as well.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Me blushing! :) :)

Trust me... am this sweet only when the other person is offering me candies or cookies or brownies....

But its the air around here (figuratively speaking :-D )that has done things to all of us! If people here become more sweeter, they'll give me diabetes! :) :)

PS: I love the quote - "Come over to the dark side.... We have cookies!" :-D

Terry said...

Donna, I had read this earlier, but forgot to tell you what a great piece of writing I thought it was. I think it made me go look for chocolate, and then I got side-tracked. Wonderful insight and creativity. Congratulations!

jason evans said...

Great job on pacing, entertainment value, technical skill, storytelling, and voice! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.

jason evans said...

And congratulations on the honorable mention!

Watters' Reflection said...

Jason, thank you very much for running the contest and for your comments. It was a lot of fun and very exciting to take part. I've enjoyed visiting the community that you have created, it's a great place.

Thanks to everyone who left comments on my first attempt. I learned so much from everyone who entered as well.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I thought I "checked" them all. How did this entry get by me? Congrats!